Clause 49

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 31st January 2008.

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Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Pension Reform), Department for Work and Pensions 10:15 am, 31st January 2008

That is an entirely fair point. Indeed, in some employment situations, the pensions package is a big part of the negotiation. At the same time and in defence of the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, he is suggesting not so much that the pension should not be discussed, but that an offer of employment cannot be conditional upon an employee saying that he will not take a pension, which is a slightly different point.

While I understand the hon. Gentleman’s point, and I have some sympathy with it, for the reasons I have given, we are probably best preserving the consensus with the employer on this point and accepting that it is a part of the overall agreement which has enabled broad-based support to be given to the Bill.